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In Turkish we have this idiom that literally translates as "to cast a role" which suggests someone telling/attempting/dictating what or how one [that "one" may a person, or a concept] should do/act/behave, etc. when it is none of his business to dictate such things. My Google search suggests that the literal translation is not present in English. Is there an idiom that would correspond to what I am looking for?

Here is an example:

“Their definition of God [those who claim that an All-Forgiving God would never do this and that, etc.] is without basis; rather, they are casting role to God.”

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    I can imagine "to cast a role" (or a close variant) being understandable (and not unnatural) in certain contexts... I think we'd have to see an (English) example of a sentence in which you wanted to use this idiom... – TripeHound Jul 27 '18 at 10:47
  • I would interpret "cast a role" to be referring to the activity in a theater where the director picks a particular actor for a particular role. This may also include the director (or play author) instructing the actor on the "quirks" of behavior expected in that role. – Hot Licks Jul 27 '18 at 11:34
  • Your question is unclear since the example you give doesn't seem to match what you describe elsewhere. Are you talking about somebody who is interfering and overbearing (as the initial part of the question suggests), or are you talking about making somebody out to be something (as your example suggests)? If the latter, is it a false assignment or does its validity not matter? – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jul 27 '18 at 15:40
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Here are a few English phrases/idioms/expressions that seem to be similar to your idiom description and can be used as in your example. However, their general use doesn't seem to be as common. Also note that you have two different ideas contained within your idiom description. One idea is the "directing" or "telling/dictating" = controlling an intended audience, while the other is "casting a role" = projecting a role onto another (object). This is somewhat difficult and confusing if you are looking for a single English phrase. Using your sentence for examples (I changed the ending slightly), possibly one might fit best for you.

  1. "to run the show"

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/run+the+show

ex. “Their definition of God [those who claim that an All-Forgiving God would never do this and that, etc.] is without basis; rather, they are running the show with both the nature of God and the peoples' beliefs.”

  1. "to stage-manage"

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/stage-manage

ex. “Their definition of God [those who claim that an All-Forgiving God would never do this and that, etc.] is without basis; rather, they are stage-managing God to influence the peoples' beliefs.”

  1. "to project onto"

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/project+onto

ex. “Their definition of God [those who claim that an All-Forgiving God would never do this and that, etc.] is without basis; rather, they are projecting (their ideas) onto God to influence the peoples' beliefs.”

  • Projecting fits the question. The other two don't and might attract down-votes. In the question's context, the one "casting a role" doesn't necessarily have any actual power over the one "cast" in that role. – Lawrence Jul 28 '18 at 0:37
  • Thanks, I see, but disagree in that the question along with the description can be read both ways. He is translating from an idiom and the use of "cast a role" brings two images. "Cast" may be seen as in "a director" can "cast a role" in a play (whether or not they should be doing it), or Cast may be seen as in "project" a role onto someone. In any event, both ways of thinking are accommodated. – user22542 Jul 28 '18 at 1:02
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portray someone or something as someone TFD

to develop a character that one is playing in a dramatic production as a kind of person or someone having certain characteristics or a particular personality.

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dictator could be used in this situation. Aside from the obvious noun denoting a type of ruler, the word can also mean:

a person who behaves as if they have complete power over other people, and tells them what to do

Example: Her father was a dictator and the whole family was afraid of him.

Do note that this particular definition is rarely used, but can definitely get the point across depending on the context.

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